South Africa-Namibia partnership set to equip students with skills to become fully qualified educators
In a quest to further uplift the standard of education in Namibia, Stadio Faculty of Education (formerly known as Embury) will work with the Namibia Multiversity to equip students to become fully qualified educators.
Namibia Multiversity is a new institution operating out of Windhoek and aimed at providing quality higher education to Namibian students. Stadio Faculty of Education’s distance learning offerings target students looking to become teachers, and will be the first qualifications available in collaboration with the Namibia Multiversity.
Colette Rieckert, CEO of the Namibia Multiversity in a statement on Thursday said there is a great need for improved teacher education within Namibia.
“A number of students leave Namibia to qualify as teachers in South Africa. This results in a loss of GDP for Namibia and, unfortunately, these teachers often do not return to the country, resulting in a loss of manpower,” Rieckert noted.
Rieckert is of the opinion that by teaming up with Stadio Faculty of Education, Namibia will be able to retain top educational talent, while also contributing towards raising the overall standard of education, thanks to improved teaching practices.
“Our schools are only as good as the teachers we have, and by providing quality teacher training courses in Namibia, we will be able to uplift our local education system, starting with one teacher at a time,” she added.
Starting in 2021, the Stadio Faculty of Education will offer a range of teacher education qualifications in collaboration with the Namibia Multiversity. The Namibia Multiversity will serve as a platform to provide solid student support by offering students access to their fully resourced facilities, mentors and tutors.
The offerings include a one-year Higher Certificate in Pre-school Education to prepare students to effectively work with children in an Early Childhood Development (ECD) capacity; as well as a four-year Bachelor of Education in Foundation Phase Teaching to equip students to become fully qualified educators in the foundation phase (Grades R to 3).
According to Rieckert, Stadio Faculty of Education’s Postgraduate Certificate in Education could entice those with an undergraduate degree or an approved diploma to become fully qualified teachers. The plan is also to present Continuing Professional Teacher Development short courses to already established teachers in Namibia.
Stadio Faculty of Education’s qualifications include different modes of learning incorporated into a ‘flexible hybrid learning experience’. This hybrid model provides a sense of agency to students, allowing them to select, on a weekly basis, the learning mode that suits their situation best. This includes, for example, live-streamed lectures with support sessions at Windhoek Gymnasium, which will serve as a Stadio learning centre. Other modes of learning include live webinars on students’ laptops or smartphones as well as recorded material viewable on YouTube.
The collaboration with the Namibia Multiversity is part of Stadio Faculty of Education’s drive to incorporate more community-based collaborations.
Professor Patrick Bean, Executive Dean of Stadio Faculty of Education states, “Teacher education cannot be an off-the-shelf product where students are sent their learning material and expected to write an exam in six months’ time. Rather, there needs to be direct involvement with student teachers for their studies to be successful.”
“In providing Namibian students with the ability to stay in the country to train as teachers, we develop quality teachers from the community, for the community, that takes place in the community. And that is exactly our aim with all of our new partnerships,” Professor Bean notes.
Stadio Faculty of Education will also be moving its Namibian administrative office to the Windhoek Gymnasium Campus, the current seat of the Namibia Multiversity.